All the Way Home


"Jane Clarke brings emotional tact and lightness of touch to this resonant evocation of one family's experience of the First World War. The poems are earthy and transcendent, intimate yet restrained. Like the music in 'The Pianist" each poem powerfully "returns us / to quietness." - Moniza Alvi


"The First World War was a violent rupture not just in families but whole communities, and in particular the rural way of life. With her fine tact and sensitivity to the physical rhythms of the countryside, Jane Clarke re-weaves the tender fabric of the memories that those on active service would have taken with them, and the lack their absence left at home. It is a kind of healing." - Philip Gross


Dublin Review of Books, June 2019

Dr. Lucy Collins, UCD School of English, Drama & Film, writes an in-depth review of All the Way Home.

"... a book of great concentration and intelligence, as well as formal accomplishment. It captures the life of a young man at the Front and his sister at home; more than that, it asks fundamental questions about empathy, about how we attempt to understand lives we can only share imaginatively, and at a distance in time and space. This gathering of poems speaks to the spaces between experience and perception, to the untimely losses of war as expressive of larger patterns of human sorrow and healing.

Clarke brings great sensitivity and insight and a perfectly attuned sense of the balance between observed detail and a larger sense of history. She bears witness to the specific experiences of this one family, yet at the same time reveals the beauty of a lost world, and a long view of human history marred by violence and warfare.

There is solace to be gained by reading All the Way Home especially in its final image of endurance, but the beauty and restraint of this work involves us all in its lasting grief."


Sphinx Reviews, June 2019

Poet Rachel Bilkau writes an insightful review of All the Way Home in Sphinx, Poetry Pamphlet Reviews and Features, run by Happenstance Press.

"It is her ability to render the immense intimate, the intimate immense, that is the signal achievement of this quietly passionate work."


The Yorkshire Times, 9 April 2019

Literary correspondent, Steve Whitaker, writes a highly appreciative review of All the Way Home, an illustrated sequence of World War I poems, (Smith|Doorstop 2019)

"The poems reflect a transition: the passing of one life into another, the infusion of one with the memory of the other, the desperate hope bound up with halcyon, embellished thoughts of home. And it is to Jane Clarke's huge credit that her 'pictures' are uncannily persuasive; her evocation of a lost time yield recognition in a synaesthesia of the senses - close observation of plants, flowers and pastures wrap existential longing in the focused narcosis of the moment."


Crossways Literary Magazine, April 2019

Poet Anne Daly writes a very favourable review of All the Way Home in Crossways Literary Magazine.

"Published one year after the centenary of World War 1, it is a fitting tribute to those who were affected by the war and acts as a reminder to us all of the devastation and loss that warfare engenders."


London Grip, August 2019

Poet Kate Noakes highly commends All the Way Home in London Grip.

"Clarke has a precise and vivid eye for the natural world but she does not seek refuge there and there are hard-hitting poems like 'Bouchavesnes', which describes grave digging for the recently fallen, or 'Refugee' which is about a woman who somehow took her piano with her as she escaped."



 
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